Loading
Erosion of religious freedom threatens Church and nation, warns Archbishop Wuerl

.- In an exclusive interview obtained by CNA, Dr. John Haas of the National Catholic Bioethics Center asked Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. about some of the issues facing the Church in the “contemporary context.” In his reply, Archbishop Wuerl spoke about the role of and need for religious freedom in society, a role which is dramatically changing.

While there are several “individual issues” right now, said the archbishop, most of which focus on the dignity and value of human life, “there’s a growing concern” that “our very ability to carry on our activities” is being challenged.

Archbishop Wuerl said that what is taking place across the country, which he himself has experienced in his own archdiocese, is that, “when you begin to address specific issues, whether they are life issues, marriage issues, whether they have to do with the definition of marriage or a whole range of very basic concerns,” Catholics are now facing “the presumption that you do not have a right to express your religious convictions and you do not have a right to live out those convictions in those institutions which are a part of our Catholic faith tradition.”

One issue to which the archbishop referred was the definition of marriage, a contentious issue, especially after the City Council of Washington D.C. passed a law allowing the recognition of same-sex “marriage” without allowing voters to weigh in on the issue. The measure resulted in Catholic Charities of Washington D.C. being forced to stop offering benefits to employees’ spouses and to close their adoption program.

“If you take another position than what is presented by people today … you are defined as discriminatory,” he said. “And because of that, you and your institutions can be very, very severely criticized,” or even sanctioned.

Essentially, what we are facing, Archbishop Wuerl stated, “Is the failure to balance the rights of free expression of religion with all these other newly-created rights that are coming up out of our secular society.”

The archbishop said that, once the balance shifts against the rights of freedom of religious expression, both on a personal level and on an institutional level, “we are going to find ourselves in a situation we’ve never faced before in the United States.” He called it the “tip of the iceberg,” saying that the erosion of the freedom of religious expression would spread across the Western world.

“At the heart of the issue is the failure to recognize the important place that religious values, and religious institutions and religious faith, have always played in the history of our country,” Archbishop Wuerl declared. “This idea, this new pressure, to reduce everything slowly and completely to secular values is going to impact us very dramatically.”

The role of all believers and people of faith, he said, is to speak up and make their voices heard so all will be aware just how much religious faith is part of America’s history and heritage. “Religious faith is a thread that is woven into the very fabric of our nation,” he continued. “Remove that thread and we do damage to the whole cloth.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: